Principal Investigator
  1. Taby Ahsan, PhD
    Taby Ahsan is an Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Tulane University. She got her BSE at Univ of Pennsylvania, PhD at UCSD, and postdoctoral training at GA Tech. Taby worked at Advanced Tissue Sciences for several years as a Senior Research Scientist and is a former Chair of the Cell, Tissues, and Gene Therapies Advisory Council for the FDA. email:
PhD Students
  1. Liana Boraas
    Liana received a BS in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College in 2013 and is a member of the California Omega chapter of Tau Beta Pi (TBP) engineering honor society. As a PhD student, Liana’s research is focused on using pluripotent cells as a model to study the cellular mechanoresponse to the physical microenvironment. This includes modulating the passive cytoskeleton (vimentin) and active intracellular force production (actin-myosin motor) as well as the application of external forces. The molecular and cellular responses to these cues are analyzed to identify mechanoresponsive elements that govern self-renewal, dedifferentiation, and differentiation processes. email:
  2. Gina Goorley
    Gina Goorley is from Shreveport, Louisiana, and received a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University in 2015. Collaborating with the LSU Health Sciences Center and the Louisiana Cancer Research Center, Gina focused her undergraduate research on the contribution of host stem cells on the tumor environment. Continuing her academic career at Tulane in Dr. Ahsan’s lab, she currently studies the biomechanical effect of donor age on adipose-derived stem cells. Recent projects include comparing gene expression in young vs. old donor groups, measuring cell stiffness using Atomic Force Microscopy, and using live cell imaging to observe the effects of modulating cytoskeletal elements. email:
  3. Lina Quijano
    Lina is from Bogotá, Colombia. She has a B.S in Biology (2008) and a MS in Biomedical Sciences (2010) from Universidad de los Andes (Colombia). Lina’s graduate research topics included genetic expression of myocardial genes in mesenchymal stem cells and vascular tissue engineering. She joined the Ahsan lab in the summer of 2013. Her research goal is to better understand the process of tissue regeneration and how tissues interact with each other to re-create a complete and functional structure (e.g. digit or limb) after amputation. Understanding key elements and processes that promote regeneration instead of scar formation, could eventually lead to therapies that enhance the regenerative potential in humans. email:
Visiting Scholar
  1. Diogo Pinto
    Diogo is from Leiria, Portugal. He moved to Lisbon (Portugal) at the age of 18 to pursue a BSc in Cell and Molecular Biology (New University of Lisbon, 2011). In 2013, he graduated from University of Lisbon with an MSc in Biotechnology, Stem Cell Bioengineering field. He began pursuing a PhD in Bioengineering at the MIT Portugal Program in January of 2014. Diogo’s PhD project aims at the development of a cell-based product with enhanced therapeutic features for myocardial regeneration through an integrative bioprocess approach. His research in the Ahsan lab focuses on the interaction of umbilical cord matrix (UCM)-derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSC) with different substrates/extracellular matrix components. Understanding the cytoskeletal organization of UCM MSC during cell adhesion and spreading, will eventually lead to the optimization of cell expansion under stirred culture conditions. email: